Personal profile

Biography

Nicola commenced employment at the University of Huddersfield in September 2014 as Senior Lecturer with the Early Years team on the BA (Hons) in Early Years, for full and part-time routes. Additionally as Personal Tutor to a group of full-time students and undertaking placement visits.  Nicola has worked with the University since January 2011 coordinating and teaching on the BA in Early Years with Early Years Professional Status in a college environment, and with a leading role in July 2013 in validating the BA (Hons) in Early Years for the college.

After 13 years in the early years sector managing in various nurseries including a college nursery Nicola began her teaching career as an FE Tutor working on full-time level 1 to level 3 Childcare and Education programmes and leading the part-time NVQ level 3 in Children's Care, Learning and Development; this role also required assessment of students in the workplace. In January 2007 the college validated the Foundation Degree in Early Years and the BA Childhood Studies and her teaching moved into Higher Education Programmes, becoming Course Leader and utilising the leadership and management skills and experience to make the course a high quality learning experience for students. Moving to a different college in January 2011 to take on the role of HE Lead Coordinator for Early Years Nicola played a fundamental role in developing their HE provision and working with the University of Huddersfield, Leeds Metropolitan University and Teesside University. With a promotion to Curriculum Development Manager responsibilities included developing new Further Education and Higher Education provision and leading a team of five staff.

From a very young age Nicola had the passion and drive to work with children and young people and progression into teaching has been a natural one. The opportunity to teach others about childhood and utilising her extensive industry experiences assists putting this into practice; with the ability to explain and demonstrate to others how theory relates to practice through real life experience.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Personal and Professional Development and Practice
  • Reflective Practice
  • Boys underachieving in comparison to girls with a focus on the early years

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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student Social Sciences
teamwork Social Sciences
group formation Social Sciences
group dynamics Social Sciences
emotional intelligence Social Sciences
communication Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
learning Social Sciences

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Research Output 2015 2017

Being a Reflective Practitioner

Dyer, M. & Firth, N. 8 Sep 2017 Work-based Practice in the Early Years: a Guide for Students. McMahon, S. & Dyer, M. (eds.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

student
technician
education
experience

Communication and Teamwork

Firth, N. 8 Sep 2017 Work-based Practice in the Early Years: a Guide for Students. McMahon, S. & Dyer, M. (eds.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

teamwork
group formation
group dynamics
emotional intelligence
communication

Placement and Professional Skills

Firth, N. 8 Sep 2017 Work-based Practice in the Early Years: a Guide for Students. McMahon, S. & Dyer, M. (eds.). Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

student
baby
learning
experience
workplace

Does the use of reflective practice enhance early years foundation degree students' personal and professional development?

Firth, N. 2015 The Early Years Reflective Practice Handbook. Brock, A. (ed.). Routledge, p. 347-356 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

student
female student
everyday experience
qualitative method
everyday life

Activities 2016 2017

  • 2 Oral presentation